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Keys to adapting Industry 4.0 innovation: a guide for and by EU|BICs

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THE NEXT BIG WAVE OF INNOVATION IS POWERED BY PURPOSE-DRIVEN ENTREPRENEURS WORKING WITH EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES.

Ideas might pivot or change, but pursuing an entrepreneurial journey under an incubation programme requires commitment and dedicated efforts. It requires competence and will to adapt to new methods, and courage to surpass all the difficulties that are thrown into our new venture. Investing in people first, and then in the idea is the critical lesson that we have learned.

Panayiotis Philimis, CEO, and founder of EU|BIC CyRIC (1)

We believe that the next big surge of innovation is powered by emerging technologies founded by aspiring entrepreneurs that are driven by purpose and passion. EU|BIC CyRIC and its dedicated technology incubator Gravity Ventures provide a holistic and agile framework of tailor-made approaches to work, collaboration and value generation with Industry 4.0 startups. Industry 4.0 positively affects our ecosystem and helps us in multiple ways to move the ecosystem forwards in maturity, and technological value creation. Over the years, we have gathered the most important lesson learned. First, we do not invest in the idea itself, we invest foremostly in people. Selection and shaping of the founder profile that fulfils the expectations for a successful entrepreneurial journey is key to delivering successful KPIs.

Founders and companies in Industry 4.0 are unique. So are their support needs.

Industry 4.0 technologies are one of the latest additions to the startup industry and the ecosystem of innovative problem-solving oriented societies. With technology and innovation embedded in our core DNA values and competencies, we consider it important for an EU|BIC like CyRIC to provide technical support to Industry 4.0 startups, beyond business services. CyRIC has strong technological competencies. We can identify, pivot, design and develop advanced technological innovations in-house while investigating the business framework of such solutions. The main challenges lay in supporting ‘’proof of concept’’, technology validation and maturation in the wide spectrum of services that every EU|BIC has to offer.

Working with founders in the Industry 4.0 sector can be a challenge. As well as trying to provide tailor-made mentoring and properly convey the ‘’pros’’ and ‘’cons’’ of an entrepreneurial journey. Typically founders are not aware of the road ahead and what it takes to survive as a business. They typically focus on the technological aspect of their startup. A potentially successful Industry 4.0 venture combines science, engineering, and design with strong business acumen, and this is what is striving to cultivate and achieve.

…all the in-house startups have asynchronous high quality incubation that is adjusted to their needs.

Rapid technological change has substantially affected our philosophy and approach when engaging with potential new ventures that are candidates for joining our incubation programme at Gravity Incubator. ‘’We support tech startups. We support aspiring entrepreneurs’’. The next big surge of innovation is powered by emerging technologies founded by aspiring entrepreneurs that are driven by purpose and passion.

A-synchronous, high-quality incubation

Our services, Idea Validation, Product Design, Testing, Prototyping, IP, Business Modelling, Financial Planning and Commercialization, are meticulously adjusted and delivered on-demand and case-specific. It is not ‘’the service’’, but rather ‘’the depth and intensity’’ of each service at a specific level. Every incoming Industry 4.0 startup application is examined accordingly. After the case-by-case evaluation (e.g. on TRL status, team assessment and competencies, infrastructure, technical know-how, and road to market) we design a tailor-made incubation process. That means that all the in-house startups have asynchronous high-quality incubation that is adjusted to their need per se. Having the ability to be agile and ‘’flexible’’ on the sequence and intensity of services offered to Industry 4.0 startups, is key for us.

EU|BIC CyRIC is a private organization, one of the very few private EUBICs in the network, that invests heavily in deep tech startups so we are serious when it comes to innovative
diagnostics and allocating financial and intellectual resources into any new venture.

CyRIC’s service value chain is tailored, and critically, not structured as a curriculum. There is no such thing as a ‘’magic recipe’’ in our philosophy. Rather, entrepreneurial success depends on the persistence and aspiration of the Industry 4.0 startup founder, in combination with our strong technological arm and incubation guidance. We invest in maintaining and expanding our in-house competencies to be as flexible and as agile as possible. However, we maintain a network of high-end professional experts that are ready on-demand to provide advice and guidance in specific areas, such as Intellectual Property and Product Certification. We constantly seek to expand our in-house expertise and capacity.

Especially for early-stage Industry 4.0 startups ideation is the most crucial. It takes a depth of knowledge and expertise to break down and challenge each element of any incoming application properly. Our task is to evaluate, validate, justify, and of course, identify the real innovation potential. We provide state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities for the incubation of startup teams. EU|BIC CyRIC is a private organization, one of the very few private EUBICs in the network, that invests heavily in deep tech startups so we are serious when it comes to innovative diagnostics and allocating financial
and intellectual resources into any new venture.

Our EU|BIC has been one of the most influential and catalytic actors of entrepreneurship and innovation in our ecosystem since the early days. Hence through the Industry 4.0 wave of startups, we are dedicated to paving the way forward and providing valuable input to this effort. ‘’For every action – there is a reaction’’, Cyprus is a small country and our catchment area is nationwide we have noticed higher expectations. But also in terms of quality when it comes to startups and value creation ‘’the bar is raised’’.

Our track record in raising funds for Industry 4.0 startups exceeds 80% and typically ranges between 500k to 1.5M euros. The Industry 4.0 wave positively affects our ecosystem and helps in multiple ways to move on as an ecosystem to the next stage of maturity, technological value creation and opportunity.

References

(1) EU|BIC CyRIC: founder of Gravity the Venture Building Incubator, and coordinator of the Cyprus Digital Innovation Hub (CyDi-Hub).

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